Sunday, November 6, 2011

He wants to be a doctor

On my last day in Kenya, the boys escort me along the path back to my hotel. It's Monday, and they're not in school, one because his uniform is worn out and they won't let him attend until he has a new one.

I wired a little money to Salma after I got home; she took him to the shop for a new uniform, black shoes, and book materials. She called excitedly to tell me it was all resolved, and he got on the phone to say thanks, with everybody celebrating and laughing a lot in the background. His name is Tomas, and he wants to be a doctor.

There are six children in the extended family.  The costs associated with keeping them in school are difficult for families to manage.  They do their best with their little kiosk where they resell vegetables and dried fish, and they're building a chicken coop.  Mostly, the income goes to feeding the family.  Medical care is inexpensive, but medicines can cost half the family's income when malaria flares up in one or another.

A little help goes a long way in Kenya.
Salma and the family struggle to keep a straight face for a photo (right).  I didn't help matters by making faces while they tried to look serious. 

With my buddy Anderson (left), the family and I sit and talk about the practical matters of work and school and future goals.   Anderson battles with malaria.  

They're doing their best.  Salma's brother Joseph works as a safari guide when he can get the opportunity and in construction when jobs are available.  In his early 20's, Joseph is an impressive gentleman.  Big voice, big heart, good, hardworking fellow.  Salma manages the chickens and the kiosk and the kids at home.

Salma and Joseph and I are trying to pull together a plan to keep the family healthy and ensure the six children get to stay in school. 

Wanna join in the fun?  Ask me.